8. Simple, But Extraordinary

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"Pain changes people

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"Pain changes people."

MAYA

It was too lonely and too quiet. I hated it. Two hours had passed since I returned from the diner and I still hadn't fallen asleep. I kept tossing and turning in my bed and felt completely sleepless. However, I was feeling quite restless for some reason.

The past few days, something felt different. Honestly, something had felt different since I returned from the hospital. It was almost like I couldn't sleep because something was missing. I needed to fill that empty hollowness within me to be able to sleep. I knew what it was, but I couldn't bring myself to admit it. Even thinking about it felt terribly wrong. So I tried to erase it, but that nagging emptiness within me just wouldn't go away.

I was instantly pulled out of my thoughts when I suddenly spotted a tall figure by my doorstep in the dim light. The door was open. It was then I realized that I never left my bedroom door open.

How did it...?

As my blood ran cold and I felt my heart pound against my chest, my mind raced and immediately jumped to conclusions that terrified me. I quickly sat up and held tightly onto the bedsheets.

He was here? He couldn't be, right? No, no, no. When that particular emptiness within me started to thaw, I felt so sick that I wanted to throw up again.

However, all the fear and disgust left when the man stepped inside my room and the moonlight streamed in from the window, causing me to recognize his sapphire blue eyes and chocolate brown hair.

"Dad," I whispered, instant relief bursting through me. My heart, which had stopped for a mere second, started beating loudly again. However, my heartbeat was so loud and quick that I could hear it drum in my ears like a scary echo.

"Maya, where have you...," he trailed off when he noticed the fear that probably left paleness across my face. I even noticed that cold sweat had broken across my body. He hurriedly made his way over to my bed and sat down in front of me. "Hey. What's wrong?"

When I slightly flinched after he placed his hand over mine, realization slowly broke across dad's face. I could practically see his heart drop by the look on his worried face. "No, Maya. No. It's me, your dad. John's not here. He's not coming back."

I forced out a nod and tried to smile, but failed. However, I let my hand linger in his and slowly leaned closer to let my head rest on his chest and wrapped my arms around him. I could sense a small smile form upon his lips as he rested his chin on top of my head.

"Are you okay?" He asked, crossing his arms on my back. During that moment, I felt so safe as if not a single monster in this world could harm me. Just like I used to feel when I was younger and life was the closest thing to perfect.

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